PETALING JAYA: It’s never easy for a 13-year-old to stay away from home for up to four months but that is what Hakim Danish had to go through to earn his stripes in the Asia Talent Cup (ATC).
And it is this steely resolve that ZK Racing team manager Zulfahmi Khairuddin believes will take his young protege far in his career.
The rookie rider has been soaring high with three podiums from his first four ATC races.
He showed his pedigree by moving up from 11th on the grid to clinch third place in Race 2 of Round 2 in Doha.
He was also third in both Race 1 and 2 in Round 1 also in Doha.
Hakim, who turns 14 in July, earned a spot in the ATC after winning the 160cc category in the inaugural SIC MiniGP Championship last year.
“I had expected a surprise but not to win three podiums from him as he is only starting his first year in the championship, ” said Zulfahmi.
“I’m happy with the fighting spirit shown by my riders so far, including Hakim. The determination is expected but it is how you cope with the struggles that makes you grow.
“We are lucky to have a rider like Hakim. He won the 160cc class in the SIC Mini Championship last year and we took him in to train at Sepang.
“He has been based here since December because of the preparations and he has not gone back at all to his hometown in Terengganu because of the movement control order.
“We also decided to keep him here as we don’t want anything bad to happen later with the current situation we are in as he needs to travel outside the country.
“But Hakim did not complain at all. He has what it takes to be disciplined and he is committed to training too. He has shown improvement day to day and we get to see the results,
“He is a good ambassador for our SIC MiniGP championship, ” added Zulfahmi, who is also the team coordinator for the SIC MiniGP championship.
“What Hakim has achieved make us realise that it is easier to shape the mindset and train those with potential at a younger age.
“I believe this SIC Mini championship is a very good programme and more talents will come through it, ” added the former Moto3 podium racer.